Daydream of the Week: Big Buddha

Big Buddha Hong Kong monkAfter visiting friends in Austin, Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver, my big post-Leaving Las Vegas trip was to Asia. While I was there, my youngest brother very nicely agreed to join me on an excursion to the “Big Buddha” (Tian Tan) outside of Hong Kong. The only thing was, he sleeps in and then I lingered way too long over lunch with old friends. When our trip out to Lantau Island, where the Buddha and Po Lin Monastery are located, took a bit longer than we thought, we began to worry that we would miss the whole thing. The lovely subway seemed to barely creak along the later it got, as dusk (closing time) seemed to rapidly creep in. The ride up the mountain is stunning, as you float in cable cars that offer spectacular views in all directions. The Big Buddha is enormous, and everyone inside our car (my brother and I were the only non-French speakers) started pointed and shrieking when we turned a corner and spotted it for the first time. When we arrived, we were in a bit of a hurry. The sun was already setting, and I was determined to get some good photos before everything shut down. So we practically ran towards the Big Buddha, passing all shops, statues, and tourists along the way. Looking up at the steep final staircase, I lurched. Tripping on stairs happens to be a phobia of mine, and these were no joke. Climbing as fast as we could, I at one point glanced over at the other side. As I was heaving and out of shape, plus staring straight down to make sure I wouldn’t fall, I couldn’t help but notice a monk practically running down the stairs without even looking. His concentration? Texting on his cell phone, of course.

With one hand.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. Put it down to muscle memory haha

  2. I love this tale – Got the image immediately and felt the excitement and the self imposed deadline (even the strain on the lungs running those steps would induce). Your monk is a deft fellow for I would surely have tripped on the gown and rolled all the way down. *laugh*

  3. This is a great piece of writing! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love this story and this little glance into your life, Abby! I hope our romp to Disneyland will make the Daydream Away cut 😉

  5. Fantastically written! You took us wonderfully along on the adventure and we were so stressed reading it 🙂

  6. Love it!

  7. This reminds me of the little kids around Machu Picchu who race up and down cobblestone streets and hilly dirt paths in sandals without breaking a sweat, whereas I had to stop about every 5 feet because I was wheezing. I’m sure there’s something out there that we’re better at than monks and Peruvian children, right?

  8. I’ve done this once, and once up those stairs was more than enough, ha!

  9. Right? And we were running because it was about to close!

  10. Great tale, Abby! I still can’t get over the monks with their iPhones and iPads. Do they just give them out to monks now? Here’s your robe and iPhone!

  11. It was quite a climb up to the Big Budah, but so worth it! They weren’t kidding when they say big. The tram wasn’t running the day we went, wish we had seen that.

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